Birthday: December 13, 1816
Died At Age: 75
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Also Known As: Werner Siemens, Werner von Siemens, Ernst Werner von Siemens
Born in: Gehrden
Famous as: Inventor
Spouse/Ex-: Antonie Siemens, Mathilde Duman
father: Christian Ferdinand Siemens
mother: Eleonore Deichmann
siblings: Carl Heinrich von Siemens, Carl Wilhelm Siemens
children: Anna Eleonore Sophie von Siemens, Arnold von Siemens, Carl Friedrich von Siemens, Georg Wilhelm von Siemens, Hertha Viktoria Ottilie von Siemens, Käthe Marie Auguste von Siemens
Died on: December 6, 1892
place of death: Berlin
Founder/Co-Founder: Siemens, Siemens Mobility, Siemens Magnet Technology, Siemens & Halske
There are certain men who not only have the natural knack towards the sciences but are also capable of turning that natural aptitude into a viable business and although there have been many men who have done it since; German engineer Werner von Siemens remains one of the very first among those inventor-entrepreneurs. Siemens, after whom the famous telecommunications company is named, is regarded as one of the most important visionaries in the history of the industry. It was his ideas that laid the foundations for the company that became a global behemoth in the field of telecommunications. Werner rose from poverty and went through plenty of hardships in his life before he could become an engineer. He joined the German Army in order to complete his education but ended up contributing decisively in the war by building communication channels that were way ahead of their time. Siemens will forever be remembered as someone who worked hard and persevered in order to accomplish all his lofty achievements.His biggest legacy will certainly remain the multinational telecommunication company ‘Siemens AG’ that he founded, of which the majority shares of the multibillion dollar company are still owned by his descendants. Read on to learn more about the life, works and achievements of this erudite inventor and entrepreneur
Childhood & Early Life
Werner von Siemens was born on 13 December, 1816 in present day Gehrden in the family of a poor farmer named Ferdinand Siemens and his wife Eleonore. His younger brothers were Carl Heinrich von Siemens and Carl Wilhelm Siemens; both of whom became integral members of Siemens.
Siemens studied at his local school where he showed a gift for the sciences and aspired to study at the well-known technical school ‘Bauakademie’ but his parents did not have the money. Instead he joined the ‘Prussian Military Academy’s ‘School of Engineering’ in 1835 in order to complete his education.
It was during his time at the ‘School of Engineering’ that he first came across a telegraph in the year 1837, a year before he graduated and he was immediately looking for ways in which it could be used for international communication.
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Siemens had successfully laid the lines for a telegraph communication between Berlin and Frankfurt, during Germany’s war with Denmark in the year 1848 and showed his value as a gallant soldier; however a year later he resigned from the army in order to make telegraphs.
He established his own company named ‘Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske’ on the 1st of October, 1847 along with his two brothers Carl Heinrich and Carl Wilhelm, who represented the interests of the company in Russia and England respectively.
Factories were opened in different parts of Europe as the business flourished and the main factories were located in London, Paris, St. Petersburg and Vienna.
Siemens’ ability to come up with innovative ideas including the idea to insulate cables so that moisture could not cause damage also made the company stronger. He had come up with that idea back in 1847 but it went a long way in making the products of his company far more reliable.
It was during his reign as the head of the company that ‘Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske’ were successful in laying the cable that connected India to the rest of Europe and that was definitely one of the big achievements of his career.
In the year 1866, Werner von Siemens made another path breaking invention known as the self-excited generator that literally put an end to the use of the rather ineffective steel magnets that were being used in the industry.
Werner von Siemens led the company from its inception for 43 years till his retirement in 1890 and during this period he revolutionised the telegraph cable and telecommunication industry forever with his enterprising leadership.
Werner von Siemens’ greatest work is the ‘Siemens Company’, which he founded. Under his guidance it grew into one of the biggest telecommunication companies in the world.
Awards & Achievements
In recognition of his extraordinary achievements in the field of telegraphic communications the German royalty gave him the title of ‘von’ and made him a noble in the year 1888.
Personal Life & Legacy
Werner von Siemens got married to Mathilde Duman in the year 1852; the couple had two sons Arnold and Georg Wilhelm.
Werner von Siemens exchanged the nuptial vows for the second time with Antonie Siemens, a relative, two years after the death of Mathilde in the year 1867. They had two children- Carl Dietrich and Carl Friedrich.
The eminent innovator and entrepreneur breathed his last on December 6, 1892 in Berlin.